Olympic College

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Kevin Blackwell

Pamela Bilodeau





Office: Tech-215

Office: Tech-214




CLASS MEETS: Hybrid: Online and on ground as follows:

11:00AM—12:26PM on Tuesdays/Thursdays

LOCATION: OC-Bremerton, Tech-213


CMPTR 185 CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Introduce students to the basics of delivering computer user support within an organization. Provide the "soft skills" and the "self-management skills" needed at the help desk while enhancing the knowledge, proficiency, and abilities necessary in the user support arena.


At the end of this class the student will be able to:


1)     Discuss and identify the purpose of user support

2)     Describe ways of supporting users

3)     Describe skills required for user support

4)     Describe the major steps in analyzing user needs

5)     Discuss issues in installing software and hardware

6)     Discuss end user training

7)     Describe how a help desk functions

8)     Discuss service skills for support

9)     Discuss common computer problems

10)  Respond appropriately to others and modify behavior to the situation.




·         A GUIDE TO CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS FOR THE HELP DESK PROFESSIONAL, (hereafter referred to as CSS) by Donna Knapp, Course Technology – Thomson Learning, ISBN 978-0-619-21641-2 AND

·         A GUIDE TO COMPUTER USER SUPPORT FOR HELP DESK & SUPPORT SPECIALISTS (hereafter referred to as CUS) by Fred Beisse, Course Technology – Thomson Learning, ISBN 978-0-619-21510-1






Week 1


1/7 to 1/13



Student & Instructor Goals

Review Course Syllabus

Review Course Textbooks


Week 6


2/11 to 2/17

Unit 5:

(CSS) Ch. 5 Handling Difficult Customer Situations

(CUS) Ch. 6 Help Desk Operation AND

Ch. 13 Computer Facilities Management


Week 2


1/14 to 1/20

Unit 1:

(CSS) Ch. 1 Achieving High Customer Satisfaction

(CUS) Ch. 2 Introduction To Computer User Support


Week 7


2/18 to 2/24


President’s Day holiday


Unit 6:

(CSS) Ch. 6 Solving and Preventing Problems

(CUS) Ch. 4 Troubleshooting Computer Problems AND

Ch. 5 Common Support Problems


Week 3


1/21/ to 1/27


MLK holiday

Unit 2:

(CSS) Ch. 2 Developing Strong Listening and Communication Skills

(CUS) Ch. 9 User Needs Analysis and Assessment


Week 8


2/25 to 3/2

Unit 7:

(CSS) Ch. 7 Business Skills for Technical Professionals

(CUS) Ch. 3 Customer Service Skills for User Support Agents

Week 4


1/28 to 2/3

Unit 3:

(CSS) Ch. 3 Winning Telephone Skills

(CUS) Ch. 1 Introduction To End-User Computing AND Chp. 7 User Support Management



Week 9


3/3 to 3/9

Unit 8:

(CSS) Ch. 8 Teams and Team Players in Help Desk Setting

(CUS) Ch. 8 Product Evaluation Strategies and Standards AND Ch. 10 Installing End-User Computer Systems


Week 5


2/4 to 2/10


Unit 4:

(CSS) Ch. 4 Tech. Writing Skills for Support Professionals

(CUS) Ch. 12 Writing for End Users


Week 10


3/10 to 3/16


Unit 9:

(CSS) Ch. 9 Minimizing Stress and Avoiding Burnout

(CUS) Ch. 11 Training Computer Users








1)  Discussion Participation:

Class participation is a major component of this course and is worth 270 points overall. Discussions will take place in the WAOL Blackboard Classroom Discussion Board. In class participation varies from week-to-week and will involve a combination of class and group activities. Attendance is required.

You will receive 10 discussion points per day for a total possible of 20 points per unit week (week one does not count toward discussion points). You must log in and participate online any two (2), separate days each week in class discussions, with at least one (1) comment to your classmates’ assignment posts and at least one (1) comment to the instructor’s weekly discussion post(s). Commenting to someone else’s comment (as part of a threaded discussion) can count toward your participation points provided it meets the same substantive comment definition described below. Threaded discussions are a great way to promote meaningful dialogue, so go for it! Logging in and commenting this way (at minimum) two days each week is mandatory to receive the full 20 points for each week’s participation points. You will receive only one-half of your weekly discussion points if you log in and post all of your comments on one day during the week.

Quality and content are taken into account in the grading. Weekly participation points will be prorated for partial credit. Have fun with the discussions, and feel free to dialogue on the topics.

Participation Etiquette: Class discussions should be open, casual, professional, appropriate and friendly.

Definition of Participation: For grading purposes, participation is defined as offering substantive comment on the course material and journal work.

A good test of substantive includes a combination of several or all of the following:

·         Agreement or disagreement with the position taken by a classmate or the facilitator with supporting rationale. Just saying “I agree” and providing an example from your experience is not sufficient. Why do you agree? What is the basis for your agreement? How have the readings led you to this conclusion?


·         Analysis of strengths or weaknesses of the position taken by a classmate or the facilitator based on the week’s readings. What about the position taken is supported by the week’s readings? How is this position different from what the readings indicate?


·         Support or contrary examples from your experience, relating these experiences to the topic for the week and utilizing the readings. How does your experience differ from that of your classmate and what do you think is the theoretical reason for this difference? How do both experiences relate to the week’s readings?

Participation does not include the following:

·         Simply submitting an assignment is not participation. Submission is a part of your assignment score.

·         Replying with simple agreement or disagreement, while welcome, will not be substantive.

·         Greetings and off point comments are not participative (illustrative examples follow)

      • Hi, I’m here.
      • Boy is it rainy in Washington today.
      • You are so right! I couldn’t agree more.

2)  Journal Assignments


Journal assignments are comprised of hands-on projects from the two textbooks. Two journal assignments are submitted each week via the Digital Dropbox (each week’s assignments can go into one document or zip folder for submission). One journal assignment of the student’s choosing is posted to the discussion board for other students to comment on as part of each student’s weekly participation. Do not post assignments only to the discussion board; all assignments must be uploaded via the Digital Dropbox each week. Work should be completed in MS Word; however, if a different word processing application is used, then try to format in rich text format (rtf) or at the very least text (txt). All assignments need to have the following when submitted:

·         Student’s name and unit number at the top of the page

·         Chapter and assignment labels before each journal assignment (ex. Ch. 1, Project 1-1)

·         File named according the course, student’s last name and unit (ex. Cmptr185_smith_unit1.doc).


Check unit assignments for instructions on deliverables for the journal assignments.


3)  Group Work


Students are assigned to groups at the beginning of the quarter with which they will remain throughout the quarter. There will be two group assignments given throughout the quarter and one group charter to complete during week one. Each student is scored according to how well he or she contributes to the group effort and how well the group does overall as perceived by the instructor. At the end of the quarter, students will submit a learning group evaluation of themselves and each of their fellow group members. Results of the evaluations will be used toward additional group points earned. Check unit assignments for instructions on deliverables for the group assignments.


4)  Term Project


A final term project will culminate in a set of written reports derived from research conducted on a major online employment site. Students may begin working on their term project reports at any time during the quarter. Students are encouraged to pace themselves accordingly and pay attention to due dates. The term project reports should be submitted together all at once and are due at the end of the quarter. Check unit assignments for instructions on deliverables for the term project.




GRADE: Your Grade will be computed using the following point schedule for work completed. You will receive the following filled-out rubric each week as feedback for your work accomplished.



Outstanding 100% awarded

Good 80-100% awarded

Fair 50-80% awarded

Poor zero-50% awarded


Discussions: (20 points possible)

Discussions meet or exceed minimum requirements. Posts reflect critical, higher-level thinking and offer substantive, meaningful input and feedback to overall discussions. Responses are proofread for grammar and spelling; all sources are properly cited.

Discussions meet minimum requirements (see comments below). Refer to participation requirements for more information.

Discussions done, but are missing one or more required elements, lack substance, are not properly cited or proofread, and/or are off topic (see comments below). Refer to participation requirements for more information.

Only one or no posts made; or discussion posts to not meet minimum requirements, lack substance and/or are off topic (see comments below). Refer to participation requirements for more information.


Journal (30 points possible)

Journal work shows critical, higher-level thinking, and integrates course content with own experience. Activity is proofread for grammar and spelling where appropriate; all sources are cited. Screen shots are used where needed. Activity steps are followed and complete.

Journal work meets minimum requirements (see comments below). Refer to participation requirements for more information.

Journal work done, but is missing one or more required elements, lacks substance, and/or is not properly cited or proofread (see comments below). Refer to participation requirements for more information.

Journal work not done or minimal effort applied (see comments below).


In-Class Work

20 points possible

Participation in class is exemplary, shows critical thinking, adds value to overall discussions and quality of engagement.

Participation requirements met.

Participation in class is evident. One class day missed all or partially. More effort needed.

Participation in class is not evident or one or more class periods missed.


Group Work (25 points possible)

Group submission is timely, relevant and complete. Individual participation in group is exemplary and demonstrates valuable team contribution.

Group submission is timely and meets minimum requirements. Individual participation is adequate.

Group submission is done, but missing one or more things, lacks substance, and/or is not on time. Contribution is minimal.

Group submission is not done or is missing one or more required elements. Or, individual contribution is non-existent.


* Total weekly score reflects group work points, which are awarded in weeks 4 and 7 only. Even numbered weeks will earn up to 70 points.


Discussion Participation (20 x 9) 180 points

In Class Participation (20x9) 180 points

Journal Assignments (30 x 9) 270 points

Group Work (25 x 2) 50 points

Group Charter (10 x 1) 10 points

Final Group Evaluation (10 x 1) 10 points

Term Project (100 x 3) 300 points

TOTAL POINTS 1000 = 100%


(Don’t forget to watch for extra credit pop quizzes that will appear from time-to-time in the online classroom!)






Percentage grading scale:

96 – 100 A (4.0)

93 – 95 A- (3.7)

90 – 92 B+ (3.3)

87 – 89 B (3.0)

83 – 86 B- (2.7)

80 – 82 C+ (2.3)

77 – 79 C (2.0)

73 – 76 C- (1.7)

70 – 72 D+ (1.3)

67 – 69 D (1.0)

63 – 66 D- (0.7)

62 – LESS F (0.0)





Please treat the class as a professional workplace. You are responsible for all work. If you are getting behind through not understanding, outside commitments or other reasons, please stay in touch with the instructors so we may find a solution. Use our e-mail and the on-line discussion venues to solicit ideas from others.


Students are required to complete their work independently, except for group projects. You are encouraged to discuss solutions together, but are not permitted to copy student files from one student directory to another, either on Olympic College computers or on student personal computers. Also, the instructors may require a student to explain any results to ensure that the student understands the solution and assumes full responsibility for the project solution.


Plagiarism is a serious issue, so be mindful that you do not conduct yourself this way in your deliverables. If you are unsure what constitutes plagiarism, we highly recommend you get to know what it is, as that is your best way to avoid it. The Internet makes it tempting and easy to plagiarize, since it feels anonymous, and copy and paste is effortless. Don’t do it! The Internet is a great resource; use it to learn and glean valuable information, but don’t copy and paste what you find there. Instead, extrapolate, analyze and synthesize the information so that what you deliver in writing or otherwise is your own interpretation and your own words. In creating any work utilizing outside resources, it is very important that you cite or otherwise acknowledge the source to avoid issues of plagiarism.  We would much rather read and hear what you have to say than what someone else has said. We also want to know from where you got your information. Here is a site that explains plagiarism well: http://www.plagiarism.org.


Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the office of Access Services in Humanities 114 (Bremerton campus), or call (360) 475-7540 for information or appointment.



1)     If you wish to withdraw from this course, please inform one of your instructors of your decision and file the appropriate paperwork with administration.


2)     If you are having problems or feel you are lagging behind, please contact one or both of your instructors, so that we may explore options to find a solution.


3)     You will be responsible for all the reading assignments, WHETHER WE REVIEW THEM ONLINE OR NOT.


Late assignments will not be accepted for a grade unless a significant and verifiable reason warrants the late submission and acceptance.


For additional rules and regulations, please go to http://www.olympic.edu/StaffFaculty/Policies/ConductCode/





Olympic College 1600 Chester Ave Bremerton WA 98337-1699